How do we apply the principles of zen in our home?
To answer this question we should first look at the reason for Zen practice. Zen refers to absorption or meditation which is practiced to attain Satori.
Satori is closely related to the Buddhist term awakening which means seeing the true nature of body and mind. And when satori is endured the meditator will start to integrate the experience in day to day life.
If you’re looking to freshen up your home and inject it with some zen energy then you might want to explore the Japanese interior style and concepts.
Japanese aesthetics are designed to eliminate clutter from your home and, instead leave your space with only what is necessary. Although in Japanese culture Zen refers to meditation, in interior design it refers to balance and harmony to create peaceful spaces.
The key to the Japanese interior design concept is known as “Ma”. This concept creates a balance between the available space that can be used on one side, and furniture and other objects, on the other side.
Hence, to achieve Zen from Japanese styling these principles are THE model areas of focus Kanso: -Simplicity-, Fukinsei-asymmetry-,Seijaku-silence-,Shizen-naturalness-,Koko-austerity-,Datsuzoku-freedom-, and Yugen-subtle profundity
Here are 10 Steps that will make your home totally Zen
Wood is Best When Blonde
Use of blonde wood is part of the culture, Japanese houses were traditionally made of wood with the decorative aesthetics still the basis on aspects to date. It is usually of a light shade and is cut so that the waves on the wood stand out.
Blonde wood undeniably make the home warm and happy. With neutral shades, you feel less boxed in which significantly improve your sense of freedom and space.
Blonde wood on the wall gives your spaces lateral depth with natural light coming through unrestricted windows bouncing to create a clear day ambiance.
Use blonde woods on walls, floor or furniture but always keep it simple by reducing ornamentation and complex patterns. Allow the natural neutral beauty of white wood to solely stand out because that's what adds to the inner peace and tranquility.
Blonde wood can equally be used in modern and contemporary designs to add rich, sleek and trendy aesthetics that attach current feels. Add texture and patterns with blonde wood species that have extensive veneering on the sides.
Update Your Interiors With Shoji Inspired Sliding Doors
In Japanese tradition shoji is a door, window or room divider consisting of translucent paper over a frame of wood which holds together a lattice of wood or bamboo.
Shoji screens add style, elegance, and simplicity with a touch of Asian flair to interior design and space optimization. The traditional shoji screen was usually fashioned from multiple wooden panes with thin translucent paper stretched between them. While certainly stylish and practical, they were never particularly durable.
Instead of thin, easily damaged paper shoji screens, use Asian-style glass dividers, doors, and closets which add a clean, modern, and durable Japanese touch to any room.
If you opt for Shoji doors with screens, they should let in soft light which combines with the stretch of blonde wood to give a calming rhythm from this classic design. Equally doors with glass panels softly diffuse light that passes through the glass in crisp lines which is soothing to the soul.
With the space-optimizing screens, large room transform into two distinct settings optimizing areas while infusing a Zen-like atmosphere.
Sliding doors are perfect for saving space, adding privacy and creating versatile floor plans, the soft light and calming design of shoji-inspired sliding doors can transform any space, big or small
Mid to Low Level Zen Style Lighting
Before considering the zen lights fixture it advisable to first consider your bulb. Research has shown blue light to be more relaxing than white light especially after a strenuous and tiring day. Blue lighting will hasten the relaxation process and recovery from acute psychosocial stress.
Japanese design equally use mid to low level lights which are soothing and improves relaxation as opposed to intense lighting. However, something of a paradox its also recommended using warm light to create the sense of a small twilight.
Three-dimensional unrestricted windows should allow ample natural lighting during the day. Curtains should be perfect, minimally styled with reducing patterns and uniform textures colors.
These Japanese style windows should provide an easy transition from indoor to outdoor with no dramatic changes in ambiance, this is commonly aided by easy to slide doors and the natural infusion inside rooms.
Tap into Open-Flexible Plans to Easily Create Multipurpose Rooms
Despite the multiplicity of forms and styles within traditional Japanese architecture, there is a common set of principles underlying Japanese design. One of these common features is flexibility.
Since the 13 Century, Japanese style not only tapped into movable furniture to create more out of small spaces, Shoji designs have been used to create movable partitions which merge pads when necessary.
Arguably the greatest advantage of open- flexible plans is the adept shift and adjustment with each changing occasion. Embedded flexibility enable spaces adapt to different situations and be mutable in times of upgrades and maintenance with little to no waste.
The design should take into account the owner's needs as well as create open spaces that foster interactions with the household and outside areas.
Creating open living and kitchen areas connected by hallways allows continuous flow of activities much like a welcoming courtyard. This way spaces will appear open and light as one steps in through the door.